"More Networks Jumping on the Biblical Bandwagon." So says The New York Times in reviewing this season's television offerings.
The headliner is "A.D.: The Bible Continues," the sequel to Roma Downey and Mark Burnett's blockbuster mini-series, "The Bible." While "The Bible" was shown on the History channel, "A.D." will air on NBC. It begins Easter Sunday, April 5, and picks up the biblical story after the crucifixion.
Meanwhile, CNN is currently airing a six-part series called "Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery." This Sunday, the UP network broadcasts "Noah's Ark," a film version of the biblical story. On March 25, PBS rebroadcasts its 2008 documentary, "The Bible's Buried Secrets." On March 27, the Smithsonian Channel will air "Siege of Masada," a one-hour special about the event that ended the first Jewish rebellion and gave Israel her motto, "Masada shall never fall again."
The National Geographic Channel will air "Killing Jesus" on March 29. CBS will then air another Downey-Burnett project called "The Dovekeepers" on March 31 and April 1. Perhaps the most unusual biblical offering of the season is "Top 10: Bible Weather," which the Times describes as "an awkward mix of biblical natural disasters and recent meteorological calamity." The show airs this Saturday on the Weather Channel.
Successful television producers make what people want to see. The upcoming plethora of biblical shows illustrates Pascal's observation that there is a "God-shaped emptiness" in every human heart. At the same time, Christians cannot trust Hollywood to do our evangelizing for us. We can and should use what the culture is watching as an opportunity for dialogue, but God has commissioned his people to share the gospel with all nations (Matthew 28:19-20), one person at a time. Helping someone follow Jesus is the greatest privilege in life. (Tweet this)
John Edmund Haggai is the founder of the Haggai Institute, which I consider to be the finest leadership training initiative in the Christian world. Dr. Haggai's ministry has trained nationally-recognized leaders from 187 nations and territories, equipping them with culturally adaptable tools that enable them to share the gospel through their influence in their home culture. Millions around the world have heard the good news of God's love as a result.
Dr. Haggai was a member of the church I pastored in Atlanta, and has remained a dear friend and mentor. I was recently reading one of his essays and was struck by these diagnostic questions: How many books did you read last year? Do you know more Scripture? Do you start every day with an unhurried prayer time? How many did you personally win to faith in Christ in 2014? What is your goal for 2015?
How would you answer his questions?
Publication date: March 20, 2015
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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